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Tiverton woman quits her job after life-changing trip to Afghanistan
12:00pm Sunday 13th October 2013 in News
LIFE has changed dramatically for Tiverton woman Hannah Surowinski after a visit to Afghanistan led her to quit her job and become a full-time charity worker.
On an eye-opening trip to Kabul she met volunteers from PARSA, a non-governmental organisation based in Afghanistan which helps transform the lives of women and children.
Hannah was inspired by its work and is now raising awareness of its programmes in the UK – and hopes to set up a charity in her home town.
Hannah, who worked as a regional manager for a road building company for ten years, said: “When I started PARSA here I had to quit my job. I hadn’t anticipated it, but it’s full-time in itself. It has taken over my life.”
Hannah went to Afghanistan with her boyfriend and former Royal Marine Pen Farthing, who founded Afghanistan dog rescue charity Nowzad Dogs.
Hannah said: “Last Christmas I went out to see what he did and while I was out there I saw what the women and children go through.
“A lot of the time, if the husband dies or is incapacitated, or unable to work for whatever reason, the women are forced to beg with their children.
“Once I saw that I couldn’t go back to my normal life.
The place gets under your skin.”
She added: “I want to set up a charity and eventually I would like to open a shop which would sell the Afghan women’s products because they make beautiful scarves, bags and shoes.”
Hannah is organising a fundraiser in Withleigh village hall next month on a date yet to be confirmed.
The event, dubbed Empowering Afghanistan, will feature talks by Hannah and volunteer and Afghan national Fiza Durrani, who has experience working in PARSA orphanages. Trade Afghan products will be available.
For more information email Hannah at Hannah @afghanistan-parsa.org
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